India Friday entered its tenth day of the 21-day lockdown that is in effect to check the spread of coronavirus. According to the latest update by the Health Ministry, the number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 2,547, including 62 deaths and 162 of those who have recovered.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a video message to the nation, made an appeal citizens to light candles at 9 pm on April 5 to showcase their “strength of unity” in their fight against the virus outbreak. The call was, however, criticised by leaders from opposition parties, terming it as a mere “symbolism” as they asked if he (Modi) has any concrete relief measures or vision of the future.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place last month in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz reached 647 across 14 states. An order to impose the National Security Act (NSA) was also filed against the Tablighi Jamaat patients in Ghaziabad for allegedly misbehaving with medical staff while being in quarantine at the district hospital’s isolation ward by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“They would not follow the law, they would not follow the system, they are enemies of humanity, whatever they have done with women health workers is a heinous crime. We are imposing NSA on them,” CM Adityanath said, referring to the incident.
Here is a curated list of striking stories that happened across the country on Day 10
* Need to ensure no one remains hungry during lockdown: President Kovind
In a video-conference with the Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of states/union territories, President Ram Nath Kovind emphasised the need to ensure that no one remains hungry during the nationwide lockdown.
He also expressed concern over the gathering of migrant workers in Anand Vihar and congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, saying the two incidents have caused a setback to the efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.
* Wrong to blame religious minorities over origin of COVID-19: US to govts
Meanwhile, the United States said it was wrong to blame religious minorities for the spread of coronavirus, asserting that the “blame game” over the origin of the COVID-19 should be aggressively pushed back by governments across the world.
The remarks by the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback came amid a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi emerged as one of the biggest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. However, Brownback urged religious groups to practice social distancing and sought the release of peaceful religious prisoners across the world, particularly in countries like Iran and China. Read more here.
* Born amid lockdown, twins named ‘Corona’ and ‘Covid’ in Raipur
The pandemic caused by a new virus may have brought the world to its knees, but that has not deterred a couple in Chhattisgarh to name their newborn twins as ‘Corona’ and ‘Covid’. The two words may evoke fear and devastation in minds of others, but for the Raipur-based couple they symbolise triumph over hardships as the twins – a boy and a girl – were born during the ongoing coronavirus-enforced nationwide lockdown which has disrupted normal life. However, the couple said they may change their decision later and rename their kids. (PTI)
* IITs create portable ventilator to meet demand
Amid the ongoing reports of shortage in medical supplies, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar claimed to have created a machine–out of scrap–which will act as a portable ventilator. Since it is made of easily available items, the product is much cheaper and easy to transport than those currently available, said the institute in a press release.
Several other IITs including Roorkee and Hyderabad have also created similar products. Click here to know about them.
*Air gets cleaner, Himachal’s Dhauladhar mountain visible from Jalandhar
The mighty Dhauladhars in Himachal Pradesh are now visible from Jalandhar as the air gets cleaner due to lockdown. Never thought this was possible!
First pic is from a DSLR and second from a mobile phone camera.
Pics courtesy colleague @Anjuagnihotri1 pic.twitter.com/IFGst3jP8k
— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) April 3, 2020
The Dhauladhar range, which is part of a Himalayan chain of mountains in Himachal Pradesh, has become visible to the people of Jalandhar, in Punjab, due to the improvement in air quality following the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. The mountain rises from Kangra and Mandi.
Pollution levels in India have dipped significantly as the lockdown in megacities has kept cars off the road and closed factories. New Delhi, which regularly has unhealthy air conditions, saw its AQI falling below 95 last week — a big reduction from its monthly average of 161 from March 2019. Mumbai, too, has witnessed a similar reduction in pollution.
*Indians not spending more time on WiFi despite lockdown
As per a report from OpenSignal, a London-based independent mobile analytics company, the time spent by Indians on WiFi during the lockdown period as they stay home hasn’t increased as expected. In the latest analysis, the company says. “In contrast to many other countries, Opensignal did not detect a statistically significant week-on-week increase in the percentage of time Indian smartphone users have spent on Wifi between the second week of January and the third week of March,” the report stated.
*Mysuru installs ‘disinfection tunnel’ at entrance of grocery market
As part of precautionary measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mysuru City Corporation has built a ‘disinfection tunnel’ at the entrance of the Mysuru exhibition ground market. The visitors will have to walk through a tunnel before entering the sprawling ground for shopping.
People who enter the market are told to walk through the ‘disinfection tunnel’ for three to four seconds during which nozzles fitted throughout the length of the tunnel spray a disinfectant solution.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Mysuru City Corporation health officer Dr Nagaraj said, “We are spraying Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl) through the nozzles fitted in the tunnel in a water-base at 0.5 ppm in a fine mist, as people walk through the tunnel.” Click here to watch how it looks.
A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) worker in Mumbai during the sanitisation drive on Jasmine mill road in Dharavi.
At a shelter home in Delhi’s Shahadra area.
Police personnel outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid area. See more photos here.
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